(AsiaNews) - The Russian Justice Ministry has posted on its website draft
amendments to the law, "On the freedom of conscience and religious
organisations," whereby foreigners or stateless people whose presence in
Russia is undesirable, and Russians suspected of extremism, would be unable to establish
or be members of religious organisations.
apply to Article 9 of the aforementioned federal law. People, whose actions
were qualified by a court as extremist or falling under the law on combating
money laundering and the financing of terrorism would also be affected.
experts cited by the daily Kommersant,
the amendments are aimed at so-called alternative religions.
to Anatoly Pchelintsev, co-chairman of the Slavic Centre for Law and Justice
(SCLJ), the initiative "is not unexpected and follows the lines of a law
adopted by the Tatarstan legislature" that allows only Russian citizens to establish
Tatarstan's case, it is an attempt to stem foreign-inspired Muslim extremists
who recently attacked moderate Muslim leaders, Pchelintsev said.
to Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the Sova Center for Information and
Analysis (which monitors extremism and racism), the changes to the law on
freedom of conscience are part of growing restrictions on citizens' right to assembly
more laws were adopted imposing greater penalties on participating in
unauthorised demonstrations as well as greater controls on foreign-funded NGOs.
slams the changes because they are aimed at limiting "alternative religions," by
preventing them from gaining legal status.
from banned organisations will no longer be allowed to register new ones," he
told Kommersant. "The goal is to
eliminate them altogether."